Be a disruptive leader | Step three: Take teaming and collaboration to a new level

team holding hands, mental health

Our series about “The Disruptive Leader”, the leader the future needs, continues.

Last week we talked about how important it is to leave your ego at the door, ie not let your ego stand in your way for new learning, insights and ideas – or indeed collaboration.

Let’s build on that and move on to the third step – take teaming and collaboration to a new level.

To come together as a team and to collaborate is as you know not a new concept at all – as human beings we have always done that – in fact, our survival has depended on it from the beginning of time.

“We must prepare people to be nimble enough to adapt to an ever-evolving marketplace.  And we must help them develop skills that will be valued no matter what tomorrow’s jobs are – skills like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration” – Tae Yoo

However, we are now at a stage in a globalised world of fast-paced change where we need each other more than ever. At work that means teaming and collaboration increasingly needs to be seen and used as a major driver of innovation, continuous business transformation and sustainable, long-term results.

As a positive disruptor you must focus on this important driver.

Here are a few tangible ways of doing just that:

  • Be highly collaborative yourself, while supporting, helping and coaching others to collaborate. Recognise and praise others when they collaborate, and show them the positive impact of that collaboration. Explore and agree in your team(s) what great collaboration looks like.
  • Promote a new way of thinking about teams. Constant change is around us and that’s ok, also in teams. Talk about the fact that just as the world, industry or organization is changing, so will the concept of teams and collaboration. Prepare people for role mobility. Explain how they can be part of many different (eg. project) teams at the same time, actively bringing their unique value add to different groupings and situations. Agility involves being able to come together as a team quickly as and when needed – and being able to take action.
  • Think of yourself as an enabler – it’s your job to enable others to do a great job, by removing obstacles, by getting people to work together interdependently. Do all you can to make it easy to collaborate.
  • Empower your team(s) to be able to make decisions and take action. Give direction, provide the clarity and structure of work that allows for people to be truly empowered (instead of having to wait for instructions or approval).
  • Embrace and demand diversity and learning in your team(s). If for example you are putting together a team for a specific purpose or project, ensure you make the most of the differences that exist – enable diverse input and new thinking (instead of risking an echo chamber). Then invite and facilitate or empower team members to facilitate continuous exchange of knowledge, ideas and dialogue.

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others” – Bill Gates

In the next post, we will continue this dialogue of empowerment when we move to the 4th agile step which focuses on “giving enough stability so that people can act with agility”.

Until then, please comment and share any thoughts, ideas or questions you have on this whole subject.

Thanks for reading!

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Leadership is about effective conversations. This book is a very useful ready reckoner for leaders everywhere seeking the words and methods needed each day at work. Sanjay Gupta, CEO English Helper Inc, India

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